Tabanid flies: Horse flies, deer flies and yellow flies.


The family Tabanidae include pest for livestock and humans. The bites are painful causing disturbance in livestock and some tabanids species are disease vectors for humans and animals. In most of the species the females are the blood feeders and males nectar and pollen feeders. Tabanids are worldwide spread and Florida with its mild weather and wet areas, provides perfect breeding areas. Tabanids presence increases between May and September, and they are very active during daylight hours. Tabanids are commonly known as horse flies (tabanus spp.), deer flies (Chrysops spp.) and yellow flies (Diaclhorus ferrugatus).

Tabanid Traps

We are testing 4 type of tabanid traps in north Florida at NFREC-Marianna in Jackson County and in Gadsden County, FL in cooperation with Dr. Alejandro Bolques and Florida A&M University. We set out the traps at the beginning of the summer of 2014 and have collected the flies from the traps once per week. Tabanid flies in the  weekly samples have been relatively low in Marianna and much higher in Gadsden County.  Our objective is to compare trap efficiency as well as their potential impact for suppression of tabanid populations around livestock facilities.

Previous work on another trap specifically for suppressing deer and yellow flies can be found at

This video contains a PowerPoint lecture by Dr. Russell Mizell concerning the potential use of traps to suppress Tabanidae (Horse and Deer - Yellow  flies) that are pests of livestock, pets and humans.  

To learn more about tabanids or tabanid traps: